Last June, we picked TweetDeck as the best Twitter client for Windows, but the newly-updated version of MetroTwit has taken the crown. Its excellent interface and range of features make it a great choice for Twitter users.
Platform: Windows Price: Free, $US17 Pro Download Page
- View your Twitter feed, mentions, direct messages and more from one window
- A multi-column view that lets you organise how you want to view your different accounts, direct messages, replies, saved searches and more
- View images and videos inline, no need to click on an external link
- Autocomplete usernames and hashtags
- Built-in spellcheck saves you from social embarrassment
- Shorten links with the service of your choice, and upload photos and videos through services like TwitPic and yFrog
- Send messages longer than 140 characters with the TwitLonger service
- Create saved searches that let you follow topics in real-time
- Add, create and manage Twitter lists
- Filter out tweets you don't want to see by account, service, hashtag or application
- Preview short URLs to avoid phishing
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Desktop notifications
- Two light and dark themes with lots of little interface customisations
- Manage multiple accounts (pro only)
MetroTwit has matured very rapidly to the point where it's almost on par with the old TweetDeck in features. You have all the basics plus things like tweet filtering, inline image previews, built-in URL shortening, photo uploading and TwitLonger options. Its interface is a gorgeous Metro-based window with customisable columns and two different colour schemes, as well as a bunch of other little visual effects. However you want Twitter to work, you can probably get MetroTwit working that way for you.
MetroTwit does have ads, which is kind of annoying. $US17 for the pro version gets you multiple accounts and ditches the ads, which is kind of dumb -- it should be one or the other. I also wish you could resize the app down to one column that doesn't take up half the screen, and opt for a tab-based system instead of a column-based system (à la Twitter for Mac), for those that like to keep Twitter docked to one side of their screen instead of filling the whole thing up. Sadly, this is a problem many Twitter clients for Windows have. Overall, though, these are nitpicks, and MetroTwit has done a great job of filling TweetDeck's old shoes.
If you don't like MetroTwit, you have a few other clients available to you. The most obvious competition is TweetDeck, which has been rebuilt from the ground up as a new, but far less feature-filled client. It does have the ability to schedule tweets, which is nice, plus Facebook support, but other than that, MetroTwit is definitely the more feature-filled of the two (not to mention the best-looking and most customisable). You can, however still download the old AIR version of TweetDeck at oldversion.com, but seeing as this is no longer being maintained—not to mention we don't love the interface -- it's lost its #1 spot in our App Directory.
Other notable clients include the feature-filled Seesmic, the minimalistic DestroyTwitter, and the unconventional Sobees. There are quite a few others, most of which run on AIR, and most of which don't really differentiate themselves from the pack, but these should give you a good start into looking for a Windows Twitter client. Of course, if you have a favorite we missed, be sure to share it with us in the comments.
Lifehacker's App Directory is a growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools across multiple platforms.